After 25 years of matching people and properties, Vrbo knows a thing or two about finding dream family holiday homes. But they also know that everyone is different. Which is why, earlier this year, they asked the British public to vote for the UK’s Favourite Urban, Seaside and Rural Destinations . More than 4000 voters responded, and the three most family friendly destinations in each category can now be revealed!
You might not be surprised to learn that the Highlands of Scotland topped the rural list for the sheer beauty of the landscape; pretty much endless dramatic history; more than a hint of romance (and Outlander); as well as plenty of amazing – non-weather dependent – activities for kids. St. Ives in Cornwall was family-friendliest in the seaside category, another unsurprising winner thanks to its spectacular beaches; delightfully quaint, time-stood-still town centre; international art galleries; fantastic family attractions and great surfing. Then came London. Families love urban adventures it seems and the UK capital ticks every single box from world famous museums to legendary landmarks.
So now you know the UK’s Most Family Friendly Destinations 2021 – as picked by Vrbo voters – take a look at 11 stunning dream family holiday homes from Vrbo in the Highlands of Scotland, St. Ives and London, all available to rent right now.
Eco Lodges, John o’ Groats, Sleeps 6
Literally nowhere in the Scottish Highlands is higher than John o’ Groats. As far north as you can go on mainland Scotland, it’s the place for wide open landscapes, incredible beaches and the biggest skies imaginable. These remarkable eco lodges make the most of natural magnificence with glass walls and large outdoor decks. There’s a woodburning fireplace in the living area for cooler evenings and just about everything, from sleek sofas to snuggly blankets, is locally sourced.
- Three bedrooms; shower room; family bathroom; kitchen; open plan living area.
- Large deck with views over to the Orkney Islands.
- Woodburning fireplace in living room.
- Short drive from Castle of Mey, dramatic Dunnet Head Lighthouse and Dunnet Bay Beach.
- 40 minutes by ferry from the Orkney Islands – recently voted Best Scottish Islands to Visit.
Luxury glamping pods, Inverness, Sleeps 4
If your heart’s set on a true Highland holiday, it doesn’t come much more authentic than waking up to views across the Black Isle. Apart from enchanting aspects, these luxury glamping pods are the perfect mix of cosy inside and great outdoors: just what you need up in the north of Scotland.
- One bedroom (double bed, two bunks); one shower room; separate toilet.
- Private outdoor dining deck with views over to the Black Isle.
- Communal, fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and outdoor firepit.
- A short drive from Culloden Battlefield site and museum, close to Clava Caves (an Outlander location).
- Half-an-hour’s drive from Inverness – Capital of the Highlands. And just under 40 minutes by road from Cairngorms, the largest National Park in the UK.
The Grain Store, Drumnadrochit, Sleeps 4
Dating back to the 18th century, this pretty cottage nestles between open countryside and the village of Drumnadrochit in the Scottish Highlands. Beautifully restored, it even has cocoon-like bunk beds for kids and a charming vinehouse overlooking a lovely, natural garden. Young monster hunters will be delighted to know Loch Ness is less than five minutes drive away.
- One bedroom; shower room; living room/kitchen; private garden.
- Woodburning stove in living room and lovely glassed vinehouse (with flourishing grapevine) overlooking garden.
- Set just on the outskirts of Drumnadrochit village.
- A short drive from Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness and the famous Loch Ness Monster Exhibition.
- Half-an-hour’s drive from Inverness city centre and just over an hour from Cairngorms National Park.
Granny’s Cottage, Dunbeath, Sleeps 4
Granny’s Cottage close to John o’ Groats proves you don’t need to have Scottish relatives of your own to feel perfectly at home in the Highlands. Part of a small terrace of traditional village houses it’s beautifully quaint on the outside, very cosy indoors and just right for active families with older kids.
- Two bedrooms; family bathroom; living room; private courtyard garden.
- Lawned front garden with outdoor furniture.
- Five minutes walk to the coast and beaches, an easy stroll to the village centre.
- John o’ Groats and Helmsdale are both just a short drive away.
- Thurso and dramatic Dunnet Head are only 30 minutes drive north.
Porthmeor Sands, St. Ives, Sleeps 6
Minutes from one of the best loved beaches in south Cornwall, yet surrounded by a large and very pretty garden, this is the type of holiday home that put St. Ives up top in Vrbo’s Family Friendly Destination poll. Kids will love the seaside vibe, the Cornwall Coastal Path is nearby and icons like Tate St. Ives are within easy walking distance.
- Three bedrooms; two bathrooms; living room; kitchen; landscaped garden.
- One double bedroom opens on to private patio with large hot tub.
- Views of coast from upper floor windows.
- A few minutes walk from long, sandy and Blue Flag Porthmeor Beach.
- St. Ives is a short drive from St. Michael’s Mount, Paradise Park zoo and the historic port of Penzance.
Carbis Bay Apartment, St. Ives, Sleeps 4
The word apartment doesn’t do justice to this incredible ground floor holiday home with its private garden and wide open views over gorgeous Carbis Bay. A fresh and airy interior with blonde wood floors and plenty natural light only adds to the beach cottage feel, plus the beach itself is just a stroll away.
- One bedroom; one bathroom; kitchen; living room; private garden; terrace.
- Pretty patio doors from the bedroom open directly on to the garden.
- Amazing views of the coast and St. Ives’ beautiful beaches.
- A short walk from the St. Ives Coastal Path and the charming centre of St. Ives.
- Porthminster and Blue Flag Porthmeor Beach are also within easy walking distance.
Compass Point, St Ives, Sleeps 6
Just a short walk from the sands of stunning Carbis Bay, Compass Point is a dream seaside holiday apartment with incredible views of the coast from its big, sunny terrace. And if you can tear yourself away from the beach, the St. Ives’ tourist train stops nearby so you can be in the enchanting town centre in minutes.
- Three bedrooms; two bathrooms; kitchen and living room.
- Furnished terrace with amazing views over Carbis Bay and beyond.
- Separate storage space for family bikes and surf boards.
- Minutes from the centre of St. Ives on the St. Ives Tourist Train.
- Close to the South West Coastal Path and less than 20 minutes drive to Penzance or St. Michael’s Mount.
Shell Seekers, St. Ives, Sleeps 6
Stay right at the heart of St. Ives in a beautifully restored Grade II listed building minutes away from everything that makes the most famous Cornish harbour town so iconic. But prime location aside, this family apartment also wins for its impeccable aesthetic, wonderful light and charming traditional features. It even has window seats overlooking the streets of St. Ives.
- Three bedrooms; two bathrooms; kitchen; living/dining room.
- Living room with window seats overlooking the quaint streets of St. Ives.
- A short stroll from St. Ives Harbour and Porthminster Beach.
- A few minutes away from Tate St. Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum.
- Easy driving distance from Paradise Park and Godrevy Nature Preserve.
St. Leonard’s Townhouse, London, Sleeps 10
Best of all worlds in London doesn’t get better than an elegant townhouse set in a private garden, but within easy reach of the city centre. This is a faultlessly restored family home where traditional features and contemporary design mix easily. And kids are welcomed with sweet touches like an outdoor climbing frame and swings.
- Five bedrooms; four bathrooms; large kitchen; living room; terrace and garden.
- The lawned garden is perfect for kids and it has outdoor furniture too.
- Local high street within walking distance for shops and restaurants.
- An easy walk to local underground station.
- Good transport links to central London
St. Leonard’s Townhouse, London, Sleeps 10
Everything about this South Kensington townhouse has been thoughtfully planned, right down to the combination of traditional details with thoroughly 21st century features, like an outdoor terrace with gleaming gas BBQ. The owner’s a gourmet cook, so the kitchen’s flawless. And if quaint city streets are high on your London must-have list, South Kensington is full of them.
- Three bedrooms; three bathrooms; kitchen; living room; two terraces.
- The sunny outdoor terrace on the first floor has seating for eight.
- A private ground floor patio is designed specifically for the gas BBQ.
- Kids will love Hyde Park, less than 10 minutes walk away.
- Close to underground stations for easy travel into central London.
City Centre Penthouse, London, Sleeps 6
Penthouse apartments in London don’t get more central than this one. Not only does it overlook Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, you can step out the front door almost right into the heart of Chinatown. Everything’s been thought of here from coffee machines to cable TV. There are underground stations minutes away, and it even has an enormous roof terrace.
- Three bedrooms; two bathrooms; kitchen; living room; extensive roof terrace.
- Strikingly designed with bold architectural features and endless natural light.
- Spectacular modern kitchen and stunning bathrooms.
- Extensive roof terrace with furniture for lounging and dining.
- Oxford Street is a few minutes walk away and Chinatown is nearby too.
Why families choose Vrbo for dream family holiday homes
Vrbo has one of the UK’s widest selections of holiday homes to rent in 2021, and everywhere from Cornwall to the Highlands of Scotland is covered by a Book With Confidence Guarantee. On the planning front, Vrbo’s new Trip Board feature lets families share the fun of choosing a holiday home; which keeps everyone happy and definitely de-stresses multi-gen family holiday plans. You can even get together and take Virtual Tours of a variety of Vrbo holiday rentals in the UK now too. And if a walkthrough isn’t quite enough to answer all your questions, just ask the Vrbo Virtual Assistant, available online 24/7 for help and advice.